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Witch Hazel for Skincare: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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(Photo : Photo by Terri Cnudde on Pixabay) witch hazel in winter

"Euphoria" actress Zendaya has brought trends beyond bright makeup and lime green hair extensions. Her skincare routine is now under the spotlight as well, and it looks like the 22-year-old actress has jumped on the bandwagon of Witch Hazel Fans.

The "Spider-Man" star raved about using witch hazel as a toner for her nighttime skincare routine. She says it's refreshing and has a nice, soft scent.

However, there are more benefits to using this natural remedy from the leaves and bark of a common North American shrub.

The Good

1. Witch hazel is said to prevent and treat blemishes, including acne. It is also said to speed up the healing process of bruises.

2. True to what Zendaya said, witch hazel can be used as a natural astringent to remove excess oils from the skin and restore the natural pH balance of your face after washing. It may also help prevent the buildup of sebum in pores and stop blackheads from appearing on your skin.

3. Witch hazel is also said to tighten skin and minimize pores.

4. This ingredient may seem to be nature's way to help reduce discoloration and puffiness under the eyes.

5. It may temporarily reduce the appearance of varicose veins as well.

6. Witch hazel may help prevent razor bumps with its anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial to use after shaving and hot wax treatments.

7. It may stop bleeding since it tightens the skin. Witch hazel with alcohol may also be used for cleansing wounds.

8. For swelling due to hemorrhoids, you may find witch hazel among the ingredients of hemorrhoid treatment creams. It is also sometimes mixed with aloe vera gel as a topical treatment for hemorrhoids.

9. Got swimmers ear? To prevent microbial infections, several drops of witch hazel may be used to dry up the pus in the ear and remove what's clogging the ear canal.

10. Witch hazel may also be used to treat sunburn and help heal the skin and prevent peeling.

The Bad

Possible risks of using witch hazel on the skin may include excessive dryness.

While witch hazel may help reduce inflammation, it cannot get rid of the itchiness that comes with rashes. Also, witch hazel may not be the best treatment for eczema.

The Ugly

Witch hazel contains an antioxidant called tannis, which may cause skin sensitivity.

Tannis may also have a drying effect. However, during the distillation process, tannis may be destroyed. Store-bought witch hazel that contains denatured or ethanol alcohol may prompt free-radical damage, making it similar to alcohol or toners with alcohol.

Witch hazel should not be used on already inflamed or irritated skin. Doing so may cause an allergic or irritant reaction and possibly worsen an acne breakout.

Final Thoughts

If you wish to incorporate witch hazel into your skincare routine, opt for alcohol-free witch hazel. This will prevent excessive dryness and irritation.

Do not use it on a dirty face. Rather, wash your face before using witch hazel as it closes the pores.

Finally, don't forget to use a skin serum and moisturizer to retain the moisture of your skin after applying witch hazel.

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